Friday, November 14, 2008

Humans Are Strange

I'd like to thank Ashley Shelden for helping our class out in understanding Lacan, theories of self, and sexuality's role in understanding of self.

OK, so this all makes sense. A whole lot of it in fact. I really like how Lacan's ideas of language become ideas of people, creating a constant search for meaning manifested by desire. It explains a lot: Why the grass is always greener, why people seem to strive for that which they can't have, why we're such consumers, why capitalism came to dominance perhaps even. It also helps explain a line I recently heard in a rap song, "Why write a song if you can't f[I don't know how censored this blog needs to be]ck to it." If we're constantly searching for a meaning that doesn't exist, the meaning we seek will necessarily manifest itself into something that does not have any meaning at all. It's only logical.

I do have one small problem with these ideas, though. That is the thought that jouissance, or ejaculation, is where we lose our sense of identity. This seems like a big claim and is presented without much evidence. I can see how it would make a decent amount of sense in that you lose focus on all else but the orgasm. In fact, even in the statement's boldness, it makes a whole lot of sense. I think that my problem, then, is that at least sexual desire runs with this "death drive." Given that we tend to love love so much, I assume that desire in the psychoanalytical approach tends to mean sexual desire, and this same desire (that which is supposed to make us find ourselves) is that which leads us to losing our sense of self. I am not enough of an optimist to deny that we probably are very self-destructive creatures (examine college students on Friday nights) and, further, that we are self-deceptively self-destructive. So yeah, I think this all checks out and makes a lot of sense as a theory. We are a strange, strange race of organisms.

*As an aside, I find it interesting that this theory tries to apply something to everybody, which almost seems to go against its basic idea, that there is no meaning to be found. Its meaninglessness almost makes the meaning it creates valid, ironically (paradoxically?).